What is Digital Strategy anyway? Here’s three things it’s not.

Contextual marketing. KPI. Share-of-voice. Social graph. Second screen. Yikes. Buzzwords abound in the digital world. It’s just part of the rapid pace of change in the land of clicks and finger swipes. It’s easy to be distracted by often confusing terminology & concepts and miss the bigger picture. Many good things are mistakenly called digital strategy but aren’t.

Here are a few:

1) “We’re on the first page of Google search results.”

First of all, legitimately making the first page of Google is quite an accomplishment (woo-hoo!) and can be a really good way to get traffic. However, prominence in Google search results — and effective search engine optimization (SEO) the process of getting you there — is not in and of itself good digital strategy. Many organizations rightly work overtime for great SEO but often don’t invest the same energy and resources into the user experience when the site visitor lands on the site. The result: Good traffic, but potentially poor conversion rates towards goals that matter.

2) “We’ve had 30% growth in our email list.”

Growth is good but be careful not to rely too much on one channel to get you across the finish line. An effective digital strategy looks carefully at all channels considering how to communicate brand and message best across email, social, search, TV, print, etc. In addition, growth in one channel needs to be evaluated within the context of how this metric helps meet overall goals.

3) “We have this amazing intern. They really make us look great on social media”

This is one we hear regularly and we get it. In principle, we have little issue with taking advantage of great free labor. And at some point, we were all interns, too after all. In this instance, some organizations appear to perhaps unwittingly prioritize media technique over brand consistency and knowledge. Not to mention it is no small risk to the brand in having a summer intern in charge of one of the most visible digital channels to your customers and competitors.

Next week, we’ll suggest three things that digital strategy is.

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